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OurStory: Life on the Water Lenses and Lighthouses

Parent Guide, page 1 of 2

Read the Directions sheets for step-by-step instructions.

SUMMARY

In this activity, you and your child will explore how some lighthouse lenses work and find out more about a specific lighthouse. Then you imagine a new invention that would use the lighthouse lens technology.

WHY

Careful observation allows you to gather all of the information that is available from a resource. The information that you learned from careful observation can then be used to understand larger topics, and how new information fits together with old information.

TIME

  • 20–30 minutes

RECOMMENDED AGE GROUP This activity will work best for children in kindergarten through 4th grade.

CHALLENGE WORDS

  • canal: a human-made waterway dug across land

  • Fresnel: the last name of an inventor (pronounced “Fray-nell”). The lens he invented is called a Fresnel lens.

  • lens: a piece of see-through material (like glass) that focuses rays of light

  • lighthouse: a structure, often a tower on land or in the water, with a powerful light that gives a signal to guide seafarers

  • magnifier: a lens or combination of lenses that makes something appear larger

  • maritime: of, relating to, or bordering a body of water

  • observation: an act of recognizing and noting a fact, sometimes involving measurement

  • order: level, rank or category

  • refraction: a change in direction that happens when a light ray passes from one material (like air) into another (like glass) in which its speed is dierent

  • seafarer: a person who operates or assists in operating a ship

More information at http://americanhistory.si.edu/ourstory/activities/water/

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